Step 1: Stock up on wine.
Step 2: Choose just the right time to broach this sensitive topic. Timing is everything, so don’t deliver your dissertation while on the 3-minute walk to school. Allow more time and careful consideration than you took for conception.
Step 3: Choose a comfortable setting in which to connect with your son. While a discussion from the front seat of the car offers the tempting avoidance of eye contact, the risk of driving into oncoming traffic is greatly increased.
Step 4: Know your audience. Your prepubescent son finds you about as sexual as a rock. As in the Precambrian shield. Do not personalize the discussion with stories from your past, like your grade 8 Halloween dance when Sheldon Rakowsky tried to kiss you through his Darth Vadar mask. Your horror at having kissed that mask, just as the spotlight shone down on you both, should not dissuade your son from attempting his own first kiss scenario.
Step 5: Let go of your inhibitions! Your embarrassment as a mother can set a negative tone, discouraging your son from developing healthy feelings about his increasingly odorous, incomprehensively gargantuan, preadolescent body. Let him know that no question is too embarrassing or too ridiculous to ask. Such probing questions may include: “You mean the man has to pee inside the woman?” or “Does he have to stuff the balls in too?”
Step 6: Choose your words carefully. Using precise anatomical language to explain fornication is the safest, most reliable way to ensure that your son will never want to discuss sex with you again. Don’t try to be ‘fly’ (?) by using teenage jargon, and avoid the use of commonly held patriarchal colloquialisms, such as Mr. Happy, heat seeking missile, or love snake. At all cost, steer clear of sentences that being with “When your father and I …”
Step 7: Teach your son responsible contraceptive use. This can only be done once you have leveled him with the basics of reproduction. The most effective means of instilling this sense of duty is by neglecting to offer a distinction between having sex and making babies. For the sake of the hormonal onslaught that’s about to hit him, they are emphatically one in the same.
Step 8: Re-check the wine supply. Uncork a bottle. Maybe two.
Step 9: Manage your emotions. Try not to appear agitated when your son dry heaves at the thought of you and his father engaged in the act of “Eww, that’s so gross!” Pacify your mind with thoughts of the EXTREMELY active sex life you had before HE came along, thank you very much.
Step 10: Once you’ve finished your talk, your son may glaze over as he processes everything you’ve just told him. Offer him sports. This pacifier will serve him well until he’s of legal drinking age.